Category Archives: News Industry

Huppke column shows how easy it is for us all to spend Branson, Bezos money

“Let’s guilt Branson, Bezos and space tourists into making charitable donations before they leave Earth.” That was the headline of a recent column by Rex Huppke of the Chicago Tribune. In the piece, he sets forth a popular perspective: as the uber-wealthy Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson spend gobs of money on space travel, they […]

Journalism, PR & the First Rough Draft of History

One of my favorite aphorisms about journalism is that it’s the first rough draft of history. True enough. Sometimes, though, it proves to be the only history, especially for local news of lesser import. And as for those stories that have follow-ups over time, the term “rough draft” may suggest that debut stories have a […]

Trump’s shameful legacy of lies

Last year, in my “Go Figure: Making Numbers Count” numeracy programs, I focused on the 2020 U.S. Presidential campaign. Anchoring the session each time was my “GOlympics” quiz, in which each letter (G-O-L-Y…etc) covers a mathematical principle that intersects with the art of story-telling. One of those queries: “Since Donald Trump became President, the Washington […]

Oh, baby! New year’s news warms weary soul

In my journalism career, I had the opportunity to write about so many subjects—quite literally from A (archaeologists, academics, activists, annual budgets, and an astronaut, just for starters) to Z (maybe a zoo? a zebra? Well, at least some folks had first and last names starting with the 26th letter of the alphabet). However, I […]

No, Martha, It’s Not 1977 Anymore: You Are No Longer at the ‘Mainstream’ Media’s Mercy

Sometimes, we need a smack upside the head with a reminder that it’s not 1977 anymore. It’s not even 2002, not by a long shot. For the past 15 years in which I have been plying the public relations trade, I have been banging this particular drum, louder and more insistently: the so-called mainstream media […]

5 predictions on Trump’s post-coronavirus path

Post-virus, Donald Trump will continue to inhabit the parallel universe of his own imagination wherein he can do no wrong, the election is rigged, and the world revolves around him and his own self-delusion and selfishness.

Hazy on number of masked Trump rally-goers in Tulsa? Media failed to zero in on the figure

Before President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa this past Saturday evening, I predicted that 2 percent of those in attendance would be wearing masks as a precaution against catching the COVID-19 coronavirus. (You can find my forecast here, on my “Go Figure: Making Numbers Count” page.) Having heard that the capacity was 20,000 at the […]

Epic math gaffe by Brian Williams & Mara Gay highlights great need for improved numeracy

When it comes to mindless journalistic blunders, there are brain cramps and then there are lobotomies. Example of a brain cramp: the time in the late-1990s when, as a newspaper reporter, I referred to a high school student as “Dustin Hoffman.” He shared a first name with the famous actor, but not the last name, […]